Records reveal county employee disciplined over CPR certifications

By Sam Wildow - Miami Valley Today

MIAMI COUNTY — New public records reveal that an employee with the Miami County 9-1-1 Communication Center who recently received a five-day working suspension was disciplined for allegedly mishandling CPR certifications within the Communication Center.

Alisha Lancaster, formerly a telecommunicator supervisor at the Communication Center, received a five-day working suspension with pay and was reduced in rank at the center during a Miami County Commissioners’ meeting last week.

Lancaster, was charged with violating county policy, including two Group III offenses of the county’s personnel policy manual. Those offenses include “wanton or willful neglect in the performance of assigned duties” and “dishonesty or dishonest action,” according to county records.

According to newly released public records, Lancaster was accused of providing CPR certifications to employees at the Communication Center who had not received the proper training and testing.

Lancaster — who was a former CPR instructor at the center but her instructor authorization has since been suspended by the American Safety and Health Institute — was asked to certify two employees in CPR prior to them undergoing another required training, Emergency Medical Dispatching (EMD), in May of this year. The CPR certification was a prerequisite to them attending the class. According to investigation documents from the Miami County Prosecutor’s Office, “Lancaster issued CPR certificates to the employees prior to either employee participating in any CPR training.” Lancaster was also accused of providing “false information about the timing of the CPR training when confronted by Director Jeff Busch.”

The training was scheduled to be completed in April, but was canceled due to staffing issues and then never rescheduled. These discrepancies were discovered when the employees went to another supervisor following them completing the EMD training and questioned when they would received the CPR training. CPR certificates for the employees that were dated May 1, 2019 were discovered, but during the investigation, the employees said they had received no CPR training from Lancaster prior to this date. The employees stated the only CPR training they received from Lancaster took place in August and no practical testing was done for either employee.

During the course of the investigation, Lancaster admitted to issuing the certificate cards prior to the employees completing the required training so they could undergo the EMD training.

Also during the investigaton, approximately five additional CPR renewal certificates were discovered for employees who had not completed the required training. Lancaster reportedly told investigator James Taylor of the Miami County Prosecutor’s Office “that they did receive the training, minus the practical skills demonstration, as was her then understanding of the requirements” and that their refresher courses were an “open-book testing format.” Taylor “was later informed that no tests were located.”

Lancaster provided personal reasons as to her reasons for mishandling the CPR certifications, according to public records. She also stated she had a type of medical condition that causes memory loss.

In a letter to the Miami County Commissioners, Miami County Prosecutor Anthony Kendell stated, “The employee clearly lied to her supervisor on more than one occasion,” adding that Lancaster also lied to an investigator when the county began investigating whether any criminal violations had occurred. Kendell wrote these actions did not meet the statutes of criminal violations due to “the perpetrator” having “gained nothing of value as a result of her actions.”

Lancaster was reduced in rank to a telecommunicator last week. She waived her right to a pre-disciplinary conference and signed a Last Chance Agreement with the county. The Last Chance Agreement will last for five years. According to the Last Chance Agreement, if Lancaster is found guilty of any future offenses in the county’s personnel policy manual under the Group III offenses during the five-year term of the Last Chance Agreement, Lancaster’s employment will be terminated. Lancaster will also not be eligible for and agrees not to apply for a supervisor position at the Communication Center.

Lancaster did not respond to a request for comment.

By Sam Wildow

Miami Valley Today

Reach Sam Wildow at © 2019 Miami Valley Today, all rights reserved.

Reach Sam Wildow at © 2019 Miami Valley Today, all rights reserved.